Green Neighbourhoods

Private green

Image credit: Audrey Timm

Diversity of choices means a diversity of green

In the private realm, people are free to choose their own plants and layout, and this increases the diversity of green in the neighbourhood. Plants can be used for their ornamental value or functionality. Edible gardens provide fresh produce and herbs for individuals. A varied planting design enables residents to experience all four seasons right outside their windows.

Rediscover the art of plants

Many urban residents fill their private gardens with paving for ease of maintenance, lack of knowledge of plants and their care or practicality. By bringing the interest back to plants in the garden, the impervious surfaces in the city can be reduced. Plant nurseries, retailers and community groups can show people how easy and attractive (low maintenance) gardening can be.

Every square metre counts

Increase the surface area of green no matter how small by planting green walls, balconies, private gardens, and roofs. Pot plants can be used where permanent planting is not possible due to existing infrastructure


Use the potential that private gardens have to add to the total green space and impervious surfaces in the city.

Benefits of private green spaces

  • Increases biodiversity in the city
  • Helps keep streets and houses cooler
  • Helps intercept water runoff
  • Makes neighbourhoods attractive 

In new and existing developments

In new development:

Provide room for small private gardens in front of, behind or on top of houses.

In existing development:

Create campaigns to encourage more plants and less impervious surfaces in private gardens. Involve the media and plant nurseries in offering advice and techniques for making gardens beautiful and easy to care for.